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Bogdanoff, Benacquisto maintain big money leads in GOP Senate primaries

by George Bennett | January 11th, 2010

State Rep. Carl Domino, R-Jupiter, finally cranked up his fund-raising operation for his GOP Senate primary against state Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, during the final quarter of 2009. But Bogdanoff still outraised Domino 2-to-1 during the quarter and has a $336,626-to-$48,965 lead in overall contributions.

Domino has also put $110,000 of his own money into the primary to succeed Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach. Atwater is running for chief financial officer.

In another closely watched GOP Senate primary, Wellington Councilwoman Lizbeth Benacquisto raised $33,810 during the fourth quarter while Republican rival Sharon Merchant raised $14,449. Benacquisto has an overall money edge of $150,040 to $72,099.

Benacquisto and Merchant are running for the seat of attorney general candidate Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres. Democratic Senate hopefuls Peter Burkert and Kevin Rader hadn’t turned in their fourth-quarter reports late this afternoon.

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6 Responses to “Bogdanoff, Benacquisto maintain big money leads in GOP Senate primaries”

  1. Baghdad Carl Says:

    Carl needs to do the right thing and drop out soon. He still might be running for Speaker though, so I highly doubt it.

  2. null2 Says:

    What??????? The never-before legislator raises double the amount of her opponent, the previous legislator??? Sharon may want to reconsider this race, again. She ran for it once before, and that was even when she had more name recognition.

  3. Larissa Says:

    I’m able to view this race objectively although I’m much more familiar with Merchant than I am Benacquisto. Sharon is running to generate name recognition for her lobbying business. But what her ego won’t accept is that after she loses this race (her fourth loss) she’ll have no political or business credibility.

    Her campaign will get negative and nasty because that’s her nature and she’s also got Don Mathis again as her advisor. Together they tried to destroy Ken but it backfired and that’s why she can’t raise money this time around.

    Merchant’s fourth defeat will also reduce Karen Marcus’ credibility and influence with our legislative delegation. She has the ability to just say no to Sharon, but she won’t.

  4. Lee County Republican Says:

    I believe you’ll see more Lee County Republicans asking Sharon to bow out gracefully so that we can concentrate on the general election. She should have never entered this race because she’s been absent from the district since her failed 2002 race.

    Although I know and enjoy Sharon personally, she has an edge to her that does not play well in the “retail” politics needed to win in this side of the district. Her agressiveness and negativity hurt her in 02 and it will hurt her again. With the state Republican party leadership in turmoil, we all need to do what we can to make sure Republicans win in November. In the case of District 27, Sharon needs to sacrifice her ambitions in this election cycle and step aside. She’s young and will have plenty more opportunities and should run in a race where she has a built-in base.

  5. Republican Grandpa Says:

    I and some others met with Merchant a while back and she claimed that Benacquesto could not compete with her in raising money. Guess this debunks that claim and I wonder what else she has said that will be debunked.

    I agree with the person above that we need to do everything to defeat democrats and stop the socialist takeover of our country.

  6. Fred from Wellington Says:

    Why is Sharon Merchant running in this race? She’s done nothing for the western communities other than lobby for the solid waste authority for a dump next door to us. Benacquisto fought for us against the dump.

    Merchant ran for this race in 2002 and lost and she will lose again. She should use whatever influence she has remaining (not much after her previous political losses) to help elect Republicans in November.

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